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Tom and Justin

https://www.adoptimist.com/adoption-parent-profile/34841

About Us

photo of adoptive family's story

Our Story

Tom and Justin met in 2006. Tom was unlike any person I had dated up until that point. There were no games; when he said yes he meant it and the same went for no. From
the start, we just worked well together. He was able to be rational and calm at times I had no idea rationality and calmness were possible. When I introduced him to my mom and dad at what was supposed to be a quiet Sunday dinner, unbeknownst to me, my mom had invited the entire family over to meet him. Tom met over 30 relatives in one day. It was a lot, but he fit in extremely well. To this day I’m sure my entire family thinks he’s too good for me. My grandma always gives advice like
“make sure to tell Tom you love him. I’m just not sure what you’d do without him” – grandma translation: you can’t do any better so don’t muck it up. My aunts all go to him for advice on the latest trends/fashions etc. My mom always makes sure to ask his thoughts on her latest endeavors and my father secretly texts him to give him advice on how to “deal with me”….apparently I’m more like my mother than I realize.

Tom and I have the same values and just enough differences to keep it interesting and balance each other out. When work offered me a transfer to California after Tom and I had been dating a few years, he stated that he was “open to moving” but had just bought a house and built a life for himself in Ohio. It was decided I’d move out to Los Angeles first and he’d follow after he sold the house and lined up a job. It took six months for that to happen. There were some big struggles the first two years of relocating but we made it through them fairly unscathed. During one intense argument, Tom looked at me and said “I’m in this. You’re my one person. If you don’t feel the same tell me now because I’m not going to spend time with someone that doesn’t know what he wants.” It was at that moment I realized I really shouldn’t mess this up and maybe he was too good for me. Looking back on all the experiences we’ve had together and the hardships we’ve gone through, I’m proud. I’m proud Tom and I have been happily together for over 13 years without a break or break up. I’m proud of the man I call my partner and I’m proud of the life we continue to build together. The move to Los Angeles was always to be a 2 year temporary deal. Year by year we liked living here more and more; the thought of leaving became harder and harder to fathom. Though we were far away from family; we loved our careers and the life we had slowly created in this giant paradise. As a result of living here being “temporary”, we put off buying a house, getting married and having children. Things we had always said we wanted but year-after-year never acted on because we would do them once we got back to Ohio. A couple years ago. Tom and I were talking and we decided to put down roots in LA. We accepted that we were here for the foreseeable future and we both admitted we were happy here and didn’t want to leave. For so long we kept saying what we thought the other one wanted to hear “we can move back to Ohio whenever you want” ; the problem was neither actually wanted to move back. With the decision to stay out in the open, we bought a home and then started talking about how we wanted to adopt. We had always felt part of the evolutionary purpose (or God’s plan) for gays was to give existing children homes. Neither of us had been married or had kids before. We were ready. Being an overly cautious and a “plan it all out” couple; we managed to wait another year or so before finally agreeing to pull the trigger and start the adoption process. Our friends here, Matt and JJ, were a huge inspiration in showing us that adopting is hard but rewarding. My grandma kept saying “if you wait til you’re ready, you’ll never do it. Trust me boys, you’re ready.” We are creatures of habit and stability. It’s where we thrive; so being able to admit a child will completely change a lot of our day-today and changing our habits took time to accept and be ok with. While Tom and I were deciding if to adopt and when, my sister and her boyfriend decided to beat us and go and have a perfect baby girl. Being around my sister, who I hold in very high regard, and watching the amazing mom she’s become, it made me realize that I wanted to be a parent even more. The main reason I want to adopt is because it’s worthwhile; I want to give a child (or children) love and support and opportunities. I want to raise children with Tom because he’s the best man I know. We’d instill values and morals and convictions in our children and in turn leave the world in a little better shape than we found it. I’m also excited about the experiences; all the firsts and new experiences we will have together with our new family unit.

Parenthood
Our daughter Charlotte was born on April 3, 2018. I didn’t know what to expect as I felt a wealth of emotions rising up as we waited all night in the hospital for her arrival. The planner in me was terrified; we received word roughly 7 days prior, asking if we wanted to be presented to the birth mother. This was clearly not enough time to hash out every minute detail on the intricacies of what it would take to raise a child. The optimist in me was ecstatic; the fact it was happening so quickly was clearly a sign it was meant to be. My mind went back and forth for 15 hours while we waited on her arrival; at roughly 7:40 A.M. we heard her first cry from just down the hall, and we both immediately started to tear up. Logic had left me, and I suddenly realized I was a father. The next day / week / month was a blur. My mother and sister flew out on Charlie’s third day on this planet to help us get settled into our new role as fathers. With care and haste they divided and conquered: one showed us the bottles, cream, diaper genie, formula…..do not deviate!– to buy and use. The other showed us the schedule to get baby girl on, “eat, burp, nap, diaper change – repeat. After just 72 short hours they left and flew back to Ohio. We were a family unit…and we were terrified. To say Charlie was the easiest baby on the planet to care for is an understatement – after a couple short months she started sleeping 6-8 hour stretches overnight, she only really cried when hungry/wet and she loved to be held and talked to.

Fatherhood has both changed and not changed us. Our now 13 year relationship is stronger than ever. We don’t have the luxury to stay mad and bicker about little things we had for the past decade. A baby means you resolve things quickly and thoroughly. Parenting disagreements were something I wasn’t prepared for, but we’ve made it through them (knock on wood). When you know each other as well as we do, it’s fascinating to see a new part of Tom I’ve never seen: father Tom. As with other parts of our relationship, he’s the father ying to my daddy yang. There are times I can’t believe he’s letting Charlie play with his phone – we agreed limited screen time! And then there are other times, I know he’s less than thrilled with Charlie and my rough-housing and wrestling (she’s an absolute daredevil /adrenaline junky at age 11 months). Little differences aside, we are on the same page when it comes to our main goal of parenting: raising a healthy, happy, empathetic human who does good in the world. Being fathers has added even more wonder and happiness to our already great life. We would love to give Charlie the experience to have a sibling (something we both experienced and fondly value). I want our children to have each other throughout thick and thin; someone they can always depend on no matter what. I can already picture Charlie helping teach her little sibling how to play. At play dates, I find myself day dreaming slightly and imagining this will be similar to when she has a sister or brother to play with. I’m excited to see a completely different little personality come through on this new addition to our family unit. There’s a simple wonder and joy that kids have; as adults, witnessing it, is purely magic. I love being a father to Charlotte and the only thing greater would be being a father to Charlotte and a sibling.

Our Home

We currently live in a large condo in West Hollywood that we purchased a few years ago. It is close to the hospital where Tom works. We also have purchased a lot in Sherman Oaks and have started the process to build our dream home; the perfect place to raise a family, in a good school district.

About Justin

adoptive family photo - Justin Childhood and Teen years
I was born to young parents 19 and 20 in rural Ohio; they were high school sweethearts that are still
happily married to this day. I have one sister who is 7 years younger than I. She and I are very close; we
weren’t that close growing up because of the age difference but now that we are both adults we talk on
the phone/text multiple times a week. My mom is one of 8 and my dad one of 4. Christmas Eve is held
at my parents’ house and both sides always attend. Family is central in my life.
My mom was a stay at home mom. My dad worked in construction and was home every night. My dad
coached my baseball team; my mom was a volunteer at my school. They were both very involved
parents. My mom’s quote regarding being a present/involved parent: “it’s an investment and kids are
the best investment you’ll ever make”
After my sister was born, my mom decided it was time for her to go to college. I always did well in school
and I remember being in 6
th
grade helping my mom with her college algebra. I loved school and did very
well in it; learning came easily to me and I valued knowledge. I had a core group of four friends all
through graduation and still talk to a few to this day.
Growing up I was your standard issue nerd/teacher’s pet. I didn’t really misbehave or rebel in any way.
My parents are very direct and blunt with me; a trait I definitely picked up from them. They spoke
openly and honestly about sex and alcohol and drugs and their personal experiences with them. I value
that honesty to this day; it made me not question a lot of things and therefore never had the need to
experiment. Honesty is key; even if it’s unpleasant or hurt’s feelings. I’ve learned to work on my
delivery and timing as being right is not always the “right thing” to do.
My mother did choose to spank us when we misbehaved. Since I’ve grown up, I’ve asked her if her
opinions on spanking have changed and she said “yes.” I found that pretty interesting and always felt
like punishments should be time outs/withholding toys and extra chores, etc. I would definitely want to
parent like my parents. Some of their famous quotes: I’m your parent, not your friend. You’re going to
regret doing that when we get home – said in an eerily calm tone that made you terrified the whole car
ride home on what you did wrong. There are two gifts a parent gives a child: one is roots (stability) the
other is wings (dreams/opportunities).
I went to the same school from Kindergarten to graduation. My parents never divorced and all my
grandparents were at my high school graduation. I had a pretty idyllic life growing up; the one downside
of that was: I never learned to overcome much hardship or change. That all changed when I went to
college.
Adult Life
I graduated from my small high school Valedictorian and went to college to become an engineer. I went
to a small private college: University of Dayton (6,000 undergrad) and even that was an eye opener. I
quickly realized most kids in my class were smart; I had to try and I had to study. I did well in college it
was just the first time I really struggled.
Another struggle I was dealing with during this time was coming out. I was an RA in college (free room
and board to help supplement my academic scholarship and keep me there) and learned firsthand about
counseling and all the resources a university has for students going through things. Once in college, I
started questioning my sexuality and as a result, I started seeing a therapist to talk about coming out
and the process. At the time it startled me because she prepared me for “the worst”. She said things
like: “If you come out, you may be disowned. You may have to leave college. You have to be really sure
you can survive if you come out and they (your parents) don’t take it well.” The thought my very
involved parents that had raised and nurtured me my whole life could disown me hit me very hard. True
the therapist didn’t know my personal life and she was a great help to me; that one train of thought
really affected my next year of life.
I had always dated women and had the same girlfriend for the first three years of college. We got
engaged; at that point I should’ve been celebrating but instead I started having panic attacks about my
future and the lie of a life I was building. I broke off the engagement without telling her why (during my
secret therapy); I became very withdrawn from friends and family. I was terrified someone would find
out my secret. I partied harder than I ever had; it was a great temporary escape. Eventually I got a DUI
while driving to see my first boyfriend at the time (I was 21); and that was my wake up call. I spent the
night in jail; called my mom after I pled guilty to drunk driving. She picked me up from outside the jail;
we rode in silence for what seemed like FOREVER. Finally she said, “What’s going on Just; you’re better
than this”. I came out to her on the spot; she paused and said “I’m not ok but I’ll get there. Give me
some time”. It was pretty uneventful. She told my dad when we got home; he then called my entire
extended family and within the course of a day I was out to the most important people in my life: family.
Life slowly resumed back to normal; I no longer felt the need to party and detach. My parents were
amazing even though they didn’t understand. As always, they were present.
After that, I graduated college and started working as an engineer. I dated that first boyfriend for a
year; it eventually ran its course and then I met Tom in 2006. Tom was unlike any person I had dated up
until that point. There were no games; when he said yes he meant it and the same went for no. From
the start, we just worked well together. He was able to be rational and calm at times I had no idea
rationality and calmness were possible. When I introduced him to my mom and dad at what was
supposed to be a quiet Sunday dinner, unbeknownst to me, my mom had invited the entire family over
to meet him. Tom met over 30 relatives in one day. It was a lot, but he fit in extremely well.
To this day I’m sure my entire family thinks he’s too good for me. My grandma always gives advice like
“make sure to tell Tom you love him. I’m just not sure what you’d do without him” – grandma
translation: you can’t do any better so don’t muck it up. My aunts all go to him for advice on the latest
trends/fashions etc. My mom always makes sure to ask his thoughts on her latest endeavors and my
father secretly texts him to give him advice on how to “deal with me”….apparently I’m more like my
mother than I realize.
Tom and I have the same values and just enough differences to keep it interesting and balance each
other out. When work offered me a transfer to California after Tom and I had been dating a few years,
he stated that he was “open to moving” but had just bought a house and built a life for himself in Ohio. It
was decided I’d move out to Los Angeles first and he’d follow after he sold the house and lined up a job.
It took six months for that to happen. There were some big struggles the first two years of relocating but
we made it through them fairly unscathed. During one intense argument, Tom looked at me and said
“I’m in this. You’re my one person. If you don’t feel the same tell me now because I’m not going to
spend time with someone that doesn’t know what he wants.” It was at that moment I realized I really
shouldn’t mess this up and maybe he was too good for me. Looking back on all the experiences we’ve
had together and the hardships we’ve gone through, I’m proud. I’m proud Tom and I have been happily
together for over 13 years without a break or break up. I’m proud of the man I call my partner and I’m
proud of the life we continue to build together.
The move to Los Angeles was always to be a 2 year temporary deal. Year by year we liked living here
more and more; the thought of leaving became harder and harder to fathom. Though we were far away
from family; we loved our careers and the life we had slowly created in this giant paradise. As a result of
living here being “temporary”, we put off buying a house, getting married and having children. Things
we had always said we wanted but year-after-year never acted on because we would do them once we
got back to Ohio.
A couple years ago. Tom and I were talking and we decided to put down roots in LA. We accepted that
we were here for the foreseeable future and we both admitted we were happy here and didn’t want to
leave. For so long we kept saying what we thought the other one wanted to hear “we can move back to
Ohio whenever you want” ; the problem was neither actually wanted to move back. With the decision
to stay out in the open, we bought a home and then started talking about how we wanted to adopt. We
had always felt part of the evolutionary purpose (or God’s plan) for gays was to give existing children
homes. Neither of us had been married or had kids before. We were ready.
Being an overly cautious and a “plan it all out” couple; we managed to wait another year or so before
finally agreeing to pull the trigger and start the adoption process. Our friends here, Matt and JJ, were a
huge inspiration in showing us that adopting is hard but rewarding. My grandma kept saying “if you
wait til you’re ready, you’ll never do it. Trust me boys, you’re ready.” We are creatures of habit and
stability. It’s where we thrive; so being able to admit a child will completely change a lot of our day-today and changing our habits took time to accept and be ok with.
While Tom and I were deciding if to adopt and when, my sister and her boyfriend decided to beat us and
go and have a perfect baby girl. Being around my sister, who I hold in very high regard, and watching
the amazing mom she’s become, it made me realize that I wanted to be a parent even more. The main
reason I want to adopt is because it’s worthwhile; I want to give a child (or children) love and support
and opportunities. I want to raise children with Tom because he’s the best man I know. We’d instill
values and morals and convictions in our children and in turn leave the world in a little better shape than
we found it. I’m also excited about the experiences; all the firsts and new experiences we will have
together with our new family unit.
Parenthood
Our daughter Charlotte was born on April 3, 2018. I didn’t know what to expect as I felt a wealth of
emotions rising up as we waited all night in the hospital for her arrival. The planner in me was terrified; we
received word roughly 7 days prior, asking if we wanted to be presented to the birth mother. This was
clearly not enough time to hash out every minute detail on the intricacies of what it would take to raise a
child. The optimist in me was ecstatic; the fact it was happening so quickly was clearly a sign it was meant
to be. My mind went back and forth for 15 hours while we waited on her arrival; at roughly 7:40 A.M. we
heard her first cry from just down the hall, and we both immediately started to tear up. Logic had left me,
and I suddenly realized I was a father. The next day / week / month was a blur. My mother and sister flew
out on Charlie’s third day on this planet to help us get settled into our new role as fathers. With care and
haste they divided and conquered: one showed us the bottles, cream, diaper genie, formula…..do not
deviate!– to buy and use. The other showed us the schedule to get baby girl on, “eat, burp, nap, diaper
change – repeat. After just 72 short hours they left and flew back to Ohio. We were a family unit…and we
were terrified. To say Charlie was the easiest baby on the planet to care for is an understatement – after a
couple short months she started sleeping 6-8 hour stretches overnight, she only really cried when
hungry/wet and she loved to be held and talked to.
Fatherhood has both changed and not changed us. Our now 13 year relationship is stronger than ever.
We don’t have the luxury to stay mad and bicker about little things we had for the past decade. A baby
means you resolve things quickly and thoroughly. Parenting disagreements were something I wasn’t
prepared for, but we’ve made it through them (knock on wood). When you know each other as well as we
do, it’s fascinating to see a new part of Tom I’ve never seen: father Tom. As with other parts of our
relationship, he’s the father ying to my daddy yang. There are times I can’t believe he’s letting Charlie play
with his phone – we agreed limited screen time! And then there are other times, I know he’s less than
thrilled with Charlie and my rough-housing and wrestling (she’s an absolute daredevil /adrenaline junky at
age 11 months). Little differences aside, we are on the same page when it comes to our main goal of
parenting: raising a healthy, happy, empathetic human who does good in the world. Being fathers has
added even more wonder and happiness to our already great life. We would love to give Charlie the
experience to have a sibling (something we both experienced and fondly value). I want our children to
have each other throughout thick and thin; someone they can always depend on no matter what. I can
already picture Charlie helping teach her little sibling how to play. At play dates, I find myself day dreaming
slightly and imagining this will be similar to when she has a sister or brother to play with. I’m excited to see
a completely different little personality come through on this new addition to our family unit. There’s a
simple wonder and joy that kids have; as adults, witnessing it, is purely magic. I love being a father to
Charlotte and the only thing greater would be being a father to Charlotte and a sibling.

About Tom

adoptive family photo - Tom Childhood and Teen Years
After 15 months of marriage, my mother (29) and my father (25), welcomed the births of first, my twin
sister, and (one minute later) myself. Twins run on my mother’s side. My maternal grandfather was a
twin, and my cousins are twins.
At that time, my father worked for the railroad. Two years later, he would take a permanent position as
the maintenance supervisor at a small plastics factory in Ada, Ohio. My mother was a beautician who
rented a small beauty shop in a nearby town. They had just recently purchased their first house in Mt.
Cory, Ohio, a village of approximately 300, in Northwest Ohio. This was the house I grew up in.
My twin sister was born a healthy baby girl. I was born with multiple medical issues, including a cleft
palate, linked to the Agent Orange my father was exposed to in the Vietnam War. My parents were very
kind, loving people, who would sacrifice anything for their children, and I aspire to be even half as good
of parent. In order to devote all of their free time to their newborn twins, my mother became a fulltime mother through the week, cutting her shifts at the beauty salon to Fridays and Saturdays, and my
father looked after us on the weekends.
18 months later, my younger sister was born. The three of us were very close growing up. So much so,
that our younger sister received gifts on our birthday until she was in her teens. Having two birthdays
on the same day was such a big event that the family was always afraid that she would feel left out.
Being the only boy, I was taught to respect my sisters, to protect them, and that I was to never raise a
hand to either one of them. Early on, any time that I would have a confrontation with one of them, I
was told to, “sit on your hands,” especially during a long car ride. As a kid, sitting on my hands during
confrontation became so engrained in me, I still catch myself doing so, every-now-and-then, as an adult
(especially on long car rides).
I did well in school. I blame my twin sister for this. We were very competitive, and where she excelled
in math and sciences, I shined in English and literature. At the end of high school, we both graduated in
the top ten of our graduating class. Individually, I was a very active student, participating in track, cross
country, quiz bowl, multiple choral groups; I was the president of the chorus, and editor of the
yearbook, among other activities. Being in the same class, we shared the same set of friends. Lifelong
friends, who (to this day) we still celebrate holidays and major life events. A support system of over 30
years.
Both my sister and I started college the following fall at Ohio Northern University, a private university in
Ada, OH. She majored in Pharmacy, and I in Psychology/Sociology. Three of our friends from high
school also joined us on campus, and I was fortunate to have my high school best friend double as my
college roommate. In two years’ time, our little sister would additionally be joining us, majoring in
elementary education.
During college, I was an active member of the local chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and held the
position of Vice President for three out of four years. I was involved with the Psychology honors
program, a member of the varsity chorus, as well as the collegiate show choir. I graduated with high
distinction after four years. Being that Pharmacy is a 6-year program (my twin sister’s major), this was
the very first life event that I had ever celebrated by myself. Until then, I had always had a partner
during birthdays, holidays, and all previous graduations, and this was a strange phenomenon for me.
Throughout my education, I kept my personal life very private. In fact, I kept myself so busy with my
studies and extra-curricular activities, that I was able to completely ignore any feelings of intimacy. I
had gone on the occasional date with a few girls here and there, but there was never a second date.
Deep down, I knew who I was, but growing up in such a small community, that was something that was
not to be discussed. My junior year, in a private conversation, I finally admitted to my best friend (and
roommate) that I was gay. At the time, it was hard for me to say, but he was very supportive. That
being said, we both agreed it was best for us to keep this information to ourselves for the time being,
and I never once spoke of it for the next few years.
Adult Life
I was offered my first job with Sleep Care, Inc in Columbus, Ohio, the summer after graduation. At the
time, the study of sleep medicine was a newer concept, and I started off working at one of the few
hospitals in Ohio that treated patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Insomnia, etc. I
became a registered polysomnographer (sleep technician), eventually moving into management. Before
leaving for Los Angeles in 2010, I held the position of Regional Manager of a company with 25 locations
in Ohio alone. I had also helped to create (and became faculty) at the first accredited training facility
founded specifically for sleep medicine in the United States.
Not long after I graduated college, my best friend/college roommate lost both of his legs in a freak
accident. This was the first real trauma that I had ever experienced. Only a short time later, my mother
developed a very rare brain tumor. She was placed in hospice in October of 2001, and held on until
January of 2002. My father was devastated, and kept a journal in which he wrote a love letter every
evening to her until the day that he died of a massive heart attack almost exactly one year later. It
happened only a few hours after his own mother’s funeral (my grandmother). To this day, my sisters
and I still believe that he died of a broken heart.
This period of two years in my early twenties was the most taxing time of my life. While my mother was
in hospice, my parents’ life insurance policies had lapsed. In order to assist my sisters financially, as they
were finishing their final year at college, I was working full-time at night, two part-time jobs during the
day, and preparing the family estate for auction. I never slept. When I think back, I remember grieving,
but also learning the skills that I needed to become a responsible adult, and the ability to overcome just
about anything. Left with basically nothing, my sisters and I were able to pick ourselves up and to
become successful, well-adjusted adults.
By early 2005, both of my sisters had graduated, and were working as a pharmacist and an elementary
school teacher, respectively. With the house finally sold, and my sisters making money, I was finally able
to devote some time to my personal life. Regrettably, my parents died without knowing I was gay.
Finally understanding how short life truly is, I began to confidently reveal that which I had been hiding
for so long to everyone I cared about. Friends, family, co-workers, I was finally an open book, and happy
with who I was. Everyone accepted me, and the only person who showed any type of negative reaction
was my twin sister, who was merely upset that I didn’t tell her first (although to be fair, she had always
known).
I met Justin the summer of 2006. Our relationship kind of snuck up on me. I didn’t put too much effort
into our initial introductions, mostly because he was five-and-a-half years younger than me, and I wasn’t
looking for anything serious. But I was surprised at how easy it was. We had a similar sense of humor,
we came from the same humble beginnings, and our values were in sync. Eventually, we started
spending all of our free time together. The “I love yous” followed. We introduced each other to our
families. Justin was the very first boy that had ever met my sisters. Even as an adult, I was very
protective, and I only wanted to share the safest parts of my life with them. Justin made me feel safe.
Almost immediately, he was accepted as part of the family. And through Justin, I now have a second
family.
About a year into our relationship, I bought my first house in Columbus. Justin had become a major part
of my life, and we decided that this would be our first attempt at living together. We had a deal, he was
in charge of the yard work, and I would take the inside of the house. There were initial challenges to
first learning to live with someone, but there was nothing that we couldn’t overcome. Specifically, we
made it through two major projects in that house, insulation of the basement and crawlspace, and the
addition of a grand master bathroom. Anyone who has lived in a house during major construction
knows how stressful it can be, and yet we overcame. After two years, Justin was offered a transfer to
Los Angeles, and after short deliberation, we both decided that we could make the move. Together.
Justin formally moved to Los Angeles in January of 2010. I stayed behind to sell my car, and to prepare
the house for listing. The house sold in April of that year, and I immediately started sending out
resumes to sleep facilities in Los Angeles. In a matter of weeks I had an interview at Tower Sleep
Medicine at Cedars-Sinai with the medical director of the facility. One week later I was offered the fulltime manager/RPSGT position, and my first day of work in California started June 5th, 2010.
There was an adjustment period the first couple of years that we were in Los Angeles. First off, we were
both initially making the same salaries that we had made in Ohio, which granted us a less-than-better
standard of living in Los Angeles. Additionally, our entire support system (family, friends) were back in
Ohio. We started to make local friends, but quickly realized how transient the city is, and that many of
these friends were only temporary. Honestly, we believed that we would be living in Los Angeles for no
more than 2 years. Eventually, we learned that our most important support system is each
other, and that we can be happy together anywhere. I’m not sure if it’s the sun, or simply our happy
new lifestyles, but we have learned to love California. The supposed two year stay in Los Angeles has
stretched into eight, which is now being stretched indefinitely.
Last year we purchased our first piece of property together, a condo within West Hollywood city limits.
A few months later, we adopted a Persian cat, Gertie, who is the silly-yet-sassy addition to our new
home. With eleven years under our belts in a committed relationship, never having once broken up, and
basically bound in an unspoken marriage, we finally made it official. Our courthouse wedding took place
on November 15, 2015. We had discussed having a large nuptial with family and friends, but the truth
was, we were already seen as husbands in their eyes, and we would have rather saved the funds that a
large celebration would entail for something that we both really wanted. A son or a daughter.
As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a father. I had always just assumed that at some point, I
would be sharing my life with someone special, and through that unity, we would together share in the
responsibility of raising children. Life has thrown me some roadblocks which have delayed my original
timeline, but I now feel that I am more ready than ever. As for Justin, he was born to be a father. I have
previously watched him with children (especially his niece) and his entire face lights up. And children
adore Justin.
Our daughter Charlotte (Charlie) was born in April of 2018, and we were blessed to be able to adopt her
through Vista Del Mar Adoption Agency. To be honest, I was surprised how easy and fast the whole
process seemed to be. She was born on a Tuesday, and we were able to take her home the following
day. We were terrified at first, but I truly believe that she taught us how to be fathers. Because of her,
our family is so in sync now, I can’t even imagine a day without her. In the one year that she has been a
part of our family, Charlotte has developed the most chill attitude, yet can be a goofball when she wants
to be. She knows how to make us aware if she ever needs something, but spends the majority of the
day in the happiest of moods. From almost day one, she has slept soundly throughout the night, and
she wakes each morning with the biggest smile, excited to start the day with her daddies.
A girl like Charlie, should be shared with a sibling. Both Justin and I had sisters, and understand the
bond that brothers and sisters have with one another, something that can never be broken. We want
Charlie to have this same bond, this same opportunity to grow up with, to play with, and to love
someone close in age, with shared experiences.
The timing is perfect. When Charlotte was born, Justin’s parents volunteered to take extended time off
of work to stay with us when the baby arrives, and have agreed to do so for a second time when
Charlotte gains her sister or brother. My twin sister and her husband have visited as much as they can,
and have sworn to support Charlotte physically, emotionally, and even financially, if need be. They are
definitely on board for baby two. Justin’s sister and her husband have promised to be as involved as
they possibly can, and with Justin’s niece being just 3 years old, they are excited for a second younger
cousin to grow up with (hand-me-downs and all). As for my little sister, she has been fostering special
needs toddlers for the last few years. She is a kindergarten/pre-school teacher, with a concentration in
special needs students. She has been a great help with Charlie, both with her expertise and her kind
heart, and is excited that we are once again beginning the adoption process. Being a teacher, she has
plenty of time to visit on her summer breaks.
On any given evening you will find Justin and I at home, sitting side-by-side, quietly on the couch. Justin
might be playing video games, and I reading comic books. Charlie is playing in her toy box or with her
books directly in front of us. We take turns reading to Charlie, or pretending to be superheroes.
Charlie is fond of her toy cymbal and drumsticks, and you just might catch the family band working on
a new number. We are finally in a place that our relationship is sound and not complicated, our
financials are stable, our support system is strong, and our love is big. Big enough to share. Big enough
to be fathers (and sister) to a second child.

Thank You for Visiting Our Adoption Profile

We want to thank you for considering us as adoptive parents for your child.

We truly appreciate your kindness and strength and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Tom and Justin

310-836-1223 (toll-free)

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Tom and Justin